Part of the reason behind the timing of Ezra's visit was because last Tuesday was our second anniversary! (I don't know how we've been dating for two years either... is it lame for non-married couples to celebrate anniversaries? Discuss.)
I'd thought about taking Ezra to Broken City one night to relive the punk rock/indie shows of my youth when I read Andree of are you gonna eat that?'s blog entry on Punk Rock Wingo, which happens every Tuesday night.
But Ezra was only here for one Tuesday. The Tuesday of our anniversary.
If I were some normal chick, I would've suppressed any thoughts/information about this event to Ezra in favour of a dressy, formal dinner at a fancy restaurant complete with wine pairings.
But I'm not normal. My mom says so, because I didn't study business, medicine or law, and I don't have a 9-to-5 job. My mom even says Ezra and I are an abnormal couple because we prefer spending the day studying with a pot of tea at Steeps instead of shopping as "normal" couples do.
Since we're happily abnormal, we were pumped about the combination of cheap wings and cheap bingo for our anniversary, and pumped that my brother didn't have his late class anymore so we could head down there without relying on Calgary's terrible public transportation and taxi systems.
I ignored Andree's footnote about when bingo started and only caught the note on the Broken City website, which said Punk Rock Wingo was from 4:00 pm - close on Tuesdays, so we were a bit thrown off when the bar was almost empty when we arrived just after 6, save a group in a reserved section by the windows. After grabbing some $3.25 AGD, we asked one of the employees when bingo started.
"My shift is ending, but I think it starts around 10."
What?! We were not about to sit there for four hours, but fortunately the corner of 11 Ave and 5 St (soon to be part of "SoDo") is perfect for Ezra - The Keg's right on the corner if he feels like steak, Red Door Bistro's right next door if he feels like oysters (I have no idea why he keeps on joking about going out for oysters all week), then there's the 24-hour Gerry's a block over and of course, bars. For me, there's SobaTen, but Ezra doesn't like noodles in soup. :(
Anyway, as we were slowly sipping our AGDs, the crew began to meticulously set up the wall of prizes, so we began to suspect that bingo was going to start sooner than we thought.
When I took this picture I thought they were done setting up the wall, but then there were more prizes! And lights to make the whole thing more appealing.
So Ezra went up to the bar to ask when bingo was starting. 8 pm. By then, it was past 7 so we figured we would go back to Plan A - stay and have wings for supper before getting into the bingo.
Wings at Broken City are usually $8.50/lb, but on Tuesdays (starting at 4), they're only $4. I also begged Ezra to grab an order of sweet potato fries, and he grabbed a second (of 6) AGD for himself. I got a DD special (aka water).
Ezra chose apple bourbon wings for our first round, and they were covered in a delightfully sticky BBQ sauce which did indeed have a hint of bourbon in it. For our second round of wings, we got honey garlic - we had trouble finishing these, perhaps because we were already full, or perhaps because they were a little *too* sticky... too much honey, not enough garlic. According to their online menu, other flavours available include AGD (cheap AGD pints with cheap AGD wings?! whaaaat), Coca-Cola, citrus teriyaki, salt & pepper, hot, and "gawd Ff---n dang", whatever that means.
And of course, the sweet potato fries were soooo gooood. Not only because they're my favourite food, but because Broken City does them well. While I do like my sweet potato fries "au naturel" as well, Broken City spices them up by sprinkling their perfectly cooked fries (not burnt but not mushy) with seasoning (sort of like the stuff you find sprinkled on salt & pepper squid in Chinese restaurants, or salt & pepper wings), creating a nice balance of sweet and savoury. And they give you just enough so that you finish just when the fries start getting cold and gross. Perfect.
Of course, you can't forget the bingo. It was obvious some people already knew the routine when a crowd quickly gathered around the bin of bingo daubers as soon as they were brought out. The bingo is cheap; $1 buys you a card that's good for a round consisting of three games - line in any direction or four in a corner, kite or x, then blackout. We started off buying just one card per round, then timidly upgraded to two cards per round. Ezra joked that next time we should get five cards each, and even the busser was in on the act, carrying three cards around with him as he picked up empty glasses and baskets and mopped up puke.
Fuelled by cheap beer, wings, and loud punk music, bingo gets a little rowdy! Every game starts with a rousing "Hell, yeah!" or "Fuck, yeah!" from the crowd, and potential winners are met with a "Bullshit!" from the crowd. If the potential winner was actually bullshitting, then they are smacked with a paddle. (Bingo regulars like to trick their novice friends into calling bingo just to watch them get smacked.) After each round, everybody takes their non-winning sheets and pelts them at the winner.
The prizes are all sponsored by the "hipster" places on 17th - there are gift certificates for an hour of tattooing or a free piercing and free pizza from Wicked Wedge in addition to larger prizes like a bong from the Hemporium or various puzzles and games. Ezra and I were going for the Trivial Pursuit set, and I kind of had my eye on a little purse (given away during an inter-game round of rock, paper, scissors) or a pair of shoes (probably didn't fit me) but we didn't win anything.
No matter, it was probably one of the best outings we've had so far, and now that Ezra's gone, I'm looking for someone to spend Tuesday nights with me to yell "Bullshit!" at strangers and nosh on wings and sweet potato fries.
613 11 Ave SW
Punk Rock Wingo is every Tuesday night. The wings special ($4/lb) starts at 4 pm, while bingo starts at 8 pm.